ESPN 300 offensive lineman J.C. Latham announced his commitment to Alabama Friday, choosing the Tide over Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma and Ohio State. Latham is a five-star tackle and the No. 9 ranked prospect in the 2021 class.
He's a 6-foot-6, 310-pound lineman out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and had offers from nearly every major program in the country. Latham is the No. 2 ranked tackle in the class behind Texas lineman Tommy Brockermeyer, who is the No. 2 overall prospect.
Alabama had gotten off to a slower start than usual with this current recruiting class, with only one commitment until April 17, when four-star defensive tackle Anquin Barnes joined the class. That commitment kickstarted some momentum as Alabama then gained a commitment from ESPN 300 wide receiver Agiye Hall the following day and three ESPN 300 commitments in the month of May.
Even with those additions, Alabama still finds itself ranked No. 23 overall in the class rankings, which is a departure from the norm for the program. Alabama was ranked No. 2 overall in the 2020 class on June 12, and finished at No. 3 in the rankings after signing day. The program had the No. 1 ranked class in June for the 2019 cycle and finished No. 1 overall.
The low ranking isn't unprecedented, however, as Alabama was outside the top-25 in the class rankings for the 2018 recruiting class in June, but eventually climbed all the way to No. 6 after signing day.
The Crimson Tide now have six ESPN 300 commits in the class with Latham, Hall, wide receiver Jacorey Brooks, linebacker Deontae Lawson, safety Kaine Williams and linebacker Ian Jackson. There are enough prospects left on the board for Alabama to potentially make a similar climb in the rankings to the 2018 cycle.